Journal articles

Muhle, F., Ackland, R. and T. Graham (2018), "Socialbots in politischen Online-Konversationen. Eine (überschätzte) Gefahr für demokratische Willensbildung im Internet?," Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen, 49(3). English translation of title: "Socialbots in online political conversations. An (overestimated) danger for democratic opinion-formation on the Internet?"

Ackland, R. and D. Halpin (2018), "Change or stability in the structure of interest group networks? Evidence from Scottish public policy consultations," forthcoming Journal of Public Policy.

Ackland, R, O'Neil, M. and S. Park (2018), "Engagement with News on Twitter: Insights from Australia and Korea," forthcoming Asian Journal of Communication, special issue on Introducing Computational Social Science for Asia-Pacific Communication Research.

Refereed conference proceedings

Rizoiu, M.-A., Graham, T., Zhang, R., Zhang, Y., Ackland, R. and L. Xie (2018), "#DebateNight: The Role and Influence of Socialbots on Twitter During the 1st 2016 U.S. Presidential Debate", In International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM ’18), pages 1–10, arXiv eprint 1802.09808.

Working papers

O'Neil, M. and R. Ackland (2018), "Competition in an Online Social Movement Field," revise and resubmit.

Halpin, D., Fraussen, B. and R. Ackland (2018), "Do Advocacy Groups Reach Their Audiences on Twitter? Explaining the online engagement of elite, peer and mass audiences with interest groups," under review.

Robertson, C., Dutton, B., Ackland, R. and T. Peng (2018), "The Democratic Role of Social Media in Political Debates: The Use of Twitter in the First Televised US Presidential Debate of 2016," in preparaton.


ANU Cross-College Research Grant from the ANU Research School of Social Sciences for "Advanced tools and methods for analysing the role and influence of bots in social media" (R. Ackland, T. Graham and J. Davis; 2018).

Conference/workshop/seminar presentations

At the 10th International Conference on Social Informatics (SocInfo 2018), Saint Petersburg, Russia, 25-28 September 2018:

  • Workshop "Big data analysis for Social Scientists" where VOSON Dashboard- the most recent tool designed and developed in the Lab- was launched (Rob Ackland).
  • Poster session "Exploring the Behaviour of SocialBots in Political Conversations on Twitter" (Rob Ackland).
  • Guest Lecture "Mapping conversations and the spread of information on Twitter" to Master students at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (17-09-2018) (Rob Ackland).

 #SocSciWeek 2018 symposium: Digital Society: New Frontiers in Sociological Research, September11, 2018, ANU:

  • Workshop "Social Media Analytics" (Tim Graham).
  • Panel Discussion on the Ethics of Social Media Data (Rob Ackland).

R. Ackland presented "An Approach for Mapping the Spread of News on Twitter" in the Symposium: Understanding the spread of misinformation in the Australian and US media fields, University of Canberra, September 10, 2018.

R. Ackland and T. Graham visited the Médialab Sciences Po in Paris, where they presented at the weekly research methods workshop, July 10, 2018, Paris, France.

T. Graham presented the paper "#DEBATENIGHT: The Role and Influence of Socialbots on Twitter during the 1st 2016 U.S. Presidential Debate" at the 12th International Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM), June 25-28, 2018 in Stanford, California.

R. Ackland was an invited-attendee at the workshop: 10 Years of Web Science: Closing The Loop, Schloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz Zentrum für Informatik (Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz Center for Informatics), 24-29 June, 2018 in Dagstuhl, Germany.

Events organised

Australian Social Network Analysis Conference (ASNAC 2018) to be held on 27-28 November, 2018, at the ANU. Organised by VOSON Lab, ANU School of Sociology and ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods. The keynote presenter is Professor Mark Tranmer, School of Social and Political Sciences (University of Galsgow).

#SocSciWeek 2018 symposium (Tim Graham): Digital Society: New Frontiers in Sociological Research, September11, 2018, ANU.



Dr Florian Muhle, Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University, Germany. Australia – Germany Joint Research Co-operation Scheme 2017-18 (Universities Australia – DAAD) “Socialbots as political actors? Autonomous communication technologies as tools and objects for digital sociology”

Training Programs

January 29 to February 2, 2018 - "Big Data Analysis for Social Scientists" 5-day course held at the 2018 ACSPRI Summer Program, University of Melbourne (R. Ackland) (ACSPRI page) (course page)